“Ask and you shall receive” has been the theme of Your Canadian Food Story since the very beginning, and the book launch was no exception! Read on for examples of how this philosophy pulled through, how my unique book launch approach worked for me, and info about the amazing supporters that came through for me on Your Canadian Food Story‘s special day.


 

Especially since the beginning of this project, I’ve had to get really good at asking. As the project takes on a larger life, I knew that it would be worth it to ask others to help me grow it even bigger. The folks with whom I’ve made genuine connections with over food — through genuine excitement about their products and learning the stories of their businesses — sure showed me the love!

So how does one go about making the asks and putting it all together, for a book launch? Here’s how I put mine together.

 

Picking a Venue

Traditionally, book launches are the pinnacle and culmination of months or even years of advertising; a sales event at which to jazz up the book to local media and outlets.

However, my situation with Your Canadian Food Story is fairly unique. Not only have I been in fortunate to have local outlets interested in carrying the book (3 Italian Centre locations in Edmonton, mama mia!), but it’s already selling online. And of course – my audience is across Canada (and beyond), and the book has been “launched” across all 13 provinces and territories. There was no need to captivate an audience — they’re right here with me, and many of them since the very beginning!

That gave me the freedom to hold more of a celebration of the book’s journey, and a heartfelt (re)union of many of the folks that made the book possible. (If you were viewing the launch from afar, we felt you in spirit!) I was excited to hold a community-oriented event, in a cozy community setting. Shopping around, my dear friend Dianna Bowes (that you may know as the Creative Director of Fabulous@50) recommended Rossdale Community Hall.

Here’s where the leap of faith comes in — if I didn’t ask, how would I know if anyone could be a sponsor for my event, right? Time for the bigger asks! Perhaps it was easier because I know Dianna so well, but I managed to amp up the courage to ask Dianna to be a partial sponsor of the hall, and she actually agreed to sponsor the venue under another one of her businesses, Plant Nite Edmonton. I was beyond excited by her generosity.

 

Connect with Your Audience

What would a celebration like this be without a celebration of food? I really wanted my guests to taste local food at the book launch party. I had this vision of a long table filled with food from some of my absolute favourite vendors, suppliers, farmers, or producers from local stores and markets. (Okay, maybe it was a hunger-fueled daydream…)

And do you know what? Every one of the people I asked said YES they would donate some food! I was blown away!

I am so grateful to these outstanding food industry folks for filling the table:

So, was it more a book launch, or a food party? Why not both? 🙂

Although food isn’t the focus of every book project, I found that making it the centre of this celebration reinforced the heart behind the project. If you’re thinking of a book launch, maybe a similar approach would be a way to throw in a unique twist of your own? (Sign me up for any book about quilting that includes a pillow fight…)

 

Celebrating the Project

With the help of everyone, the launch was better than I could have ever imagined! The combination of the venue, the food, the people, and the community really made this event special. It was definitely a food story day that strengthened some of the ties that went into the book itself. Thanks so much to the contributors that were able to attend and share excerpts of their stories with us!

Last but not least, thanks to my family for their support. I asked them, and they jumped in to help pull off this celebration. We found out that my daughter’s fiance is a very efficient sweeper! 😉

Bonus: at the end of the party, I was presented with a framed picture that will forever be a keepsake. What a beautiful surprise. 🙂

So, there you have it! Asking worked for me, and I’m sure that it can work for you — the folks around you want to help you succeed, just like you help them. 🙂

Until next time, everyone!